We planned a small travel itiniery in Spain and Italy. Our first stop was Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia in the Northwest of Spain. We arrived from Dublin by Aer Lingus. We tried the new pre-order meal option. There is a choice of Irish breakfast, chicken or beef salad. We both had the chicken salad. The process worked flawless and the salad was delicious. The cost was 7.50 Euro (ca. 10 USD) per person and included a hot drink, like coffee or tea. The flight was pleasant and eventless.
We had informed ourselves about public transport and decided to take the bus operated by Empresa Freire to Praza da Galicia (Plaza de Galicia). The journey took about 45 minutes. A single ticket costs 3 Euro (ca. 4 USD), a return ticket 5.10 Euro (ca. 6.80 USD) per person.
We had a map with us and thought the AC Palacio del Carmen, an Autograph Collection property, was easy to locate. It proofed a bit more difficult than thought. We asked locals for directions. They were helpful, but unfortunately spoke only Spanish. Mine is non existent. We finally found someone, who spoke English. She directed us correctly and within five minutes we arrived at the Palacio del Carmen.
It nestles in a residential area on the outskirts of Santiago's city center.
The hotel is located in a former 15th century convent. In the two original buildings are the reception and small lobby with an internet corner, the bar, fine dining restaurant and meeting rooms located. There is also a new wing with additional rooms. Besides meeting facilities there is also a beautiful fairly large garden, indoor swimming pool, spa and a very small fitness center with Technogym equipment.
The check in was pleasant and conducted in German. The receptionist Karel is from Prague and spoke fluent German. My better half and I have forgotten most of it, since we have been very rarely back to our home country and speak mostly English with each other since we live in Ireland for nearly fourteen years. We were promised a big bed and were very happy about our comfortable king.
The room was located in one of the original buildings.
Each floor is glassed in, airconditioned and a bridge leads to each room.
The entrance category room was simple, but elegant and comfortable.
There were wooden floors and beams, the large bed, a luggage rack, medium sized TV, a large wardrobe and a writing desk. The colors were different shades of brown, beige and ocre. Our view was over the peaceful garden.
One night there was a wedding party and for a moment we feared we would be disturbed by the noise, but the soundproofing was good, so we heard nothing. The room's location guaranteed a restful sleep. It was really quiet.
The bath room was medium sized with a sink, Palacio del Carmen own branded amenities, a comfortable bath tub and shower combination, a bidet and toilet.
The bath tub was wide and not very high, making it easy to get in and out.
The mini bar contained orange and pineapple juice, Mondariz water, Nordic Mist, Coca Cola and Coca Cola Light and San Miguel beer (with and without alcohol). Prices were reasonable. The water cost 1.50 Euro, ca. 2 USD, the rest 2.50 Euro, ca. 3.35 USD.
TV channels were dominantely local. There was BBC World, RT and CNBC.
The air condition was easy to use. It kept up with the heat and worked fast and efficient.
The lightning was mellow, but added to the atmosphere.
24 hour room service was also available.
We went twice to the bar. There are nineteen dishes to choose from. A small selection is available during general opening hours, a larger between 13.30 hours and 15.30 hours and 21.00 hours to 23.00 hours.
We had refreshing sangria, chicken salad with cherry tomatoes and sherry vinaigrette, fresh tomato and tuna salad, Iberian ham in a bread roll with parmesan cheese and dried tomatoes and a seasonal fruit plate with green and watermelon, red grapes, kiwi and pineapple.
All was tasty, fresh and healthy.
Prices were reasonable again. We paid 29.60 Euro (ca. 39.30 USD) and 35.20 Euro (46.70 USD) respectively.
Breakfast was included in our rate. It was every day in the former chapel. The chapel can also be converted into a meeting room.
The room is beautiful with a large mosaic depicting the Archangel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her she is going to give birth to Jesus.
The windows are high up, letting in the light in an unusual way. The plays between shadow and light are beautiful.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juice are self service based. There are a Nespresso Coffee machine and three differently colored capsules (red, green and black) available. The colors indicate the strength of the coffee. Red is de-caffeinated, green normal and black strong. I had the last two and enjoyed them. They are smooth and have intense flavors as it is expected from Nespresso.
The buffet contains the continental breakfast, while egg dishes can be ordered a la carte and don't incur an additional charge. We tried the scrambled and baked eggs and French omelet.
Juices on offer were orange, pineapple, peach and raspberry.
The buffet is small, but has everything one could want beside fish. There are cold cuts, cheese, pastries, bread, Tortilla Espanola including condiments, jam, different types of cereal and much more.
All staff was warm, helpful and efficient.
The memories we took home are about a very different place. It's romantic, peaceful and tranquil. It can be as near to the action as you like, though. When you know your way around, you can reach the Cathedral and Old Town within ten minutes walk.
It's definitely on our return list.
Would we stay again here? YES!
Would we recommend this hotel to a friend? YES!
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- Also Known As:
- Ac Palacio Del Carmen, Autograph Collection Hotel Santiago De Compostela
- Ac Hotels Santiago De Compostela
- Ac Hotel Santiago De Compostela